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Silvia Lindtner <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Silvia Lindtner <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 9 Jun 2010 12:52:27 -0700
text/plain (112 lines)
apologies for cross-posting

this is a reminder that the deadline for a positional paper to the  
workshop on Tracing Design(ed) Authority: Critical Modes of Making is  
June 15th 2010. See details below.

CFP: Tracing Design(ed) Authority: A Workshop on Critical Modes of  
A workshop at the Designing Interactive Systems Conference
August 17th, 2010, Aarhus, Denmark
Submission Deadline: June 15, 2010

Organizers: Marisa Cohn, Silvia Lindtner, Ann Light, Matt Ratto, Tobie  

We seek interdisciplinary scholars interested in exploring the ways in  
which authority is distributed throughout the design process, what  
kind of authority inheres in design, and also the ways that we design  
authority into processes and materials. We invite designers and  
researchers interested in how their interventions have impact to think  
critically and comparatively about different modes of critical  
production, to explore the intersection of critical making and  
thinking, and to attempt to trace forms of authority through the  
production process.  Rather than merely discuss this concept of  
design(ed) authority, we will engage in tracing authority through the  
design process from the crafting of position papers, to our  
engagements with material making in the workshop itself.
Designerly ways of doing, for Latour, are not revolutionary acts but  
instead continuous collaborative interventions. He names this mode of  
designerly authority the “cautious prometheus.” Similarly, Haraway  
describes the relationships between the scientist and the scientific  
method, through the figure of the “modest witness,” a position of  
distancing from the world through tools and instruments, that allows  
one to speak objectively about the world. These “positions” articulate  
authority, authority that is constituted through one’s methods, tools,  
techniques, modes of knowledge and material production, sets of  
stories about selves and relating to the world and to others.  In our  
roles as designers, practitioners, researchers, we establish authority  
in relation to our subjects and materials through our methodological  
commitments and the roles that we play within our respective  
institutions, collaborations, and projects.


In lieu of submitting a traditional position paper, we ask for you to  
produce a “position” as a critical reflection on your own modes of  
working and making technology.  This “position” should address or  
respond to your own modes of making and also be taken on as a site of  
critical production. As you craft this “position” think about the kind  
of authority you inhabit in your practice of technology production and  
that you articulate through the methodological commitments that you  
take on.  The “position” that you construct does not need to be a  
literal description of your methods, the applications you design or  
test, but rather a critical response to your own position as a  
designer and researcher.

We intend this exercise to be very open-ended and invite you to be  
creative and playful with your project. Your “position” can be any  
combination of text, video, audio, and/or visual artifacts, (e.g. a  
tangible UI, a hacked piece, a craft, a document, etc). We invite you  
to share the “position” that you construct via this website, or to  
bring artifacts with you to the workshop. (You might even consider  
adopting the “position,” playing out this role at the workshop). Think  
of this as a way of introducing yourself and your research in a  
different mode of making. Instead of presenting your work and  
findings, we are asking you to reflect on your own authoritative  
position and how it is reciprocally constructed through your  
methodological commitments. For details about how to craft a position  
check out the workshop website:

We ask that you document the position in some way that can be shared  
via this website and to submit a short text (anything between 1  
paragraph and 2 pages) to accompany your “position”. The amount of  
text will depend in part upon the form that your position takes, and  
how much you want it to speak for itself.

The position along with the accompanying text should respond to the  
following questions:

What are the modes of making, inscription practices, and  
methodological toolkits that you are committed to or engaged in?
How does authority flow through and into these practices and techniques?
How do you craft your own authority as part of your mode of making?
How does authority manifest within your situation, through the role  
you have within certain institutions, projects, and commitments?
During the workshop we will draw upon these positions as we engage in  
hands-on material design excercises. Your “positions” will help  
establish the objects, methods, tools, techniques, and artifacts that  
will be in play during the workshop.
Please email your submissions to [log in to unmask] by June 15, 2010.

Silvia Lindtner
PhD Candidate
Department of Informatics
UC Irvine
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